Werner (Ariolasoft) Review | Amstrad Action - Everygamegoing

Amstrad Action

By Micro Painter
Amstrad CPC464

Published in Amstrad Action #16


It's not easy to describe this cult German cartoon character. He's a cross between a hell's angel and a wally, or maybe a punk and a plonker. One thing is for sure, though: he may be weird but he knows how to come up with an entertaining computer game.

The game is split into five sections, all with their own distinctive action.

The title screen is delightful. It shows a large picture of Werner facing you and holding a joystick. As you move the stick he does likewise. Pressing fire will cause something else to happen - you'll have to see for yourselves and you're onto a menu to choose one of the five games.

The first is a thing called 'diddling', a game involving dice, beermats and several players. It has some weird rules and isn't really part of the main game, but something to be played with a few friends while having a drink.

The four game sections proper are motor ride, panic tour, motorbike assembly and drive in the fog. They can be played singly for practice or you can try to get through the whole game.

The motor ride puts Werner in a little noddy car viewed from the side. A road scrolls right to left under the car, which you can move to the left or right of the screen.

Six dangers can stop you completing the journey. The most immediate is a nasty little thing that steals the ignition key, stopping you dead, if you aren't travelling fast enough. Just as deadly is overheating the radiator by travelling too fast for too long.

Other objects that fly onto the screen cause more gradual demises. A drill bores into the petrol tank, causing you to run out of fuel. Melons and a weird bloke on a condenser can reduce your beer supply if you don't duck them or get the car out of the way. There's a simple method for dealing with each danger, but dealing with one after another is very tough.

The panic tour takes place on the same scrolling roadway but involves you in a form of obstacle course. You are carrying four objects which can be got rid of and replaced by others found along the roadside. The objects are needed to deal with various blockages like a wall or tacks on the road. Which ones you should carry can only be learned by trial and error. While you're trying to work it out, the screen continues to lob objects at you; you have to duck to survive.

The next two sections load separately and put Werner in charge of motorbikes. First he has to build one and then must drive one in fog. First he has to build a hot machine that will attract a buyer, but then when it is turned down by the cops he has to construct an acceptable bike within a time limit. If the polizei pass this one, he is free to sell the original hot bike. Of course if he builds a boring, ordinary bike the buyer may not be at all happy.

The drive through the fog is graphically excellent, giving you a view from behind Werner's bike as he races along a road, through a tunnel and into the fog. You don't seem to be able to do anything except wait for the inevitable crash, though.

The graphics on all the sections of the game are well done and very funny. The tasks don't always have that much depth or difficulty, but the two car sections are tough and the bike assembly will keep you guessing for a while.

What the game has going for it is the variety of the tasks, the humour and originality. Maybe not outstanding on gameplay, but tremendous entertainment value.

Second Opinion

Absolutely astounding graphics, extremely colourful and detailed. As for the animation, you would swear it was a cartoon! An original and exceedingly humorous game, with a very likeable character, Werner, to control through some fairly demanding tasks.

If you are bored with all the current software that is thrown down your throat then believe me, Werner will open your eyes in amazement.

Green Screen View

Fantastic, it's all visible - nobody misses out on those delightful graphics!

First Day Target Score

Build and sell a motorbike.

Good News

P. Very entertaining and funny.
P. Some excellent graphics.
P. Three quite testing game stages.
P. A fun dice and beermat game.
P. Very nicely presented.

Bad News

N. The instructions leave you with some work to do.

Bob Wade

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